(credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
If people wanted to (and I’m sure there are some who do), they could chide UFC president, Dana White’s, introduction of a women’s division as a ratings ploy and nothing more. To do so would be woefully inaccurate. For years, White resisted letting women fight in the top Mixed Martial Arts division for precisely that reason. However, with growing success of female fighters like Ronda Rousey, Meisha Tate and Alexis Davis, he was able to add these fighters to the UFC roster in a way that had valid legitimacy, rather than looking like a stunt.
One major achievement in the women’s division occurred in UFC 170, when Ronda Rousey’s title bout against Sara McMann was the headlining fight of the promotion. Now, as we approach UFC 175, Alexis Davis is getting her shot at taking the title from Rousey (It should be noted that this will also be the 4th UFC appearance for each).
Alexis and her mother
Davis has been inspired to be a fighter from her earliest days. As a child, Alexis was captivated by the elaborate martial arts athleticism of actors like Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Jean-Claude Van Damme. It would come as no surprise that Alexis grappled on her high school wrestling team. As a teen, she got involved in martial arts. When she turned 18, she started training in Jujutsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
posing with fans
Once she was in her early 20′s, Davis started the process of climbing the rungs in the Mixed Martial Arts industry. In 2007, she lost her debut fight in the UCW promotion to Sarah Kaufman (another fighter who would later appear in UFC). These early years saw Alexis fight her way through a variety of different, lower-level promotions (like TKO, ECC, FFF and RW). During this time, she racked up an impressive 9-4 record.
2011 saw Alexis jump up to the next tier in the MMA world. She began fighting in higher profile promotions like Strikeforce and Invicta. At this level, Davis achieved a 4-1 record. Alas, her lone defeat came at the hands, once again, of Sarah Kaufman (I predict Dana White will want to bring these two together in the Octagon for UFC at some point). During this time, Mixed Martial Arts provided not only professional success, but personal fulfillment as well. In 2012, she met Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach, Flavio Meier. In the course of their training together, they fell in love and, a year later, got married in Meier’s native Rio De Janeiro.
In early 2013, Davis became one of first group of women fighters to sign with UFC (Rousey being the first from the previous November). Thus far, it has been nothing but success for Davis. She grabbed unanimous decisions against Rosi Sexton and Liz Carmouche before taking a well-fought split decision win against Jessica Eye in UFC 170 (the same event that Rousey-McMann headlined). While UFC 175 will have gone into the history books by the time most of you read this article, regardless of the winner, it is providing another great showcase for the compelling women’s division in UFC.
Athletes, in general, and fighters, in particular, love getting body art. Alexis Davis is no different. She has a couple of very large, visually impressive tattoos on her body. One is black-and-white unicorn design on her lower left torso. The other is an elaborately colorful floral design running across her shoulders.
(credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today)
You can find more about Alexis’ fighting profile here: http://www.awakeningfighters.com/athletes/alexis-davis/
And, as always, you can find her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/AlexisDavisMMA